Friday, July 31, 2020

Refusing to Sow Discord

By: Sarah Geringer 

These six things the Lord hates,

Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil,

 A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren.

Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV

Sometimes focusing on the negative can teach us so much. That's what today's reading in Proverbs 6:16-19 does for us.

God mentions seven things that He hates. The one we will focus today on is the seventh: A person who sows discord.

I chose the photo of a dandelion to illustrate this point. Dandelions spread their seeds freely. One puff of wind sends hundreds of seeds into the air.

These hard-to-kill weeds pop up everywhere a seed lands. The deep tap root of a dandelion is not easy to pull up. Unless you eradicate every plant, one dandelion plant will easily populate an untreated yard in a single summer.

The one who sows discord is even worse than a determined dandelion.

With her careless words, she plants seeds that easily take root and are tough to pull up. Her thoughtless words broadcast discord far and wide. Her gossip is like weeds that overtake a healthy group.

I have been this person before. I remember times that my negative, critical, harsh, and gossip-laced words caused untold destruction. I don't even want to think about how much discord I helped sow and how much conflict I stirred.

We all need God's forgiveness for discord we helped sow. We can all receive it when we humbly ask for it and open our hearts to him.

I'm so glad God offers grace to the one who is sorry for sowing discord and stirring up conflict.

One reason I love the book of Proverbs is for its no-nonsense guidance. It's clear in these verses who God is and what He expects. I am thankful for this guide, because it teaches me the model for who God wants me to be.

In this time of quarantine, where we aren't exposed to as many people, we can work on these stubborn sins with God's help. We can confess our faults to him, ask him to set a guard at our minds and mouths (Psalm 141:3) and grow more Christlike. If we commit ourselves to this type of spiritual growth now, we'll be better prepared when we will gather together again.

Today, read this list of seven sins, and meditate on how God wants your heart to change. Ask him to help you change. Meditate on verses that you can use when you are triggered. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you overcome these sins, bear more spiritual fruit in his power, and give you the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).

Here's a prayer to encourage you today:

Heavenly Father,
I praise you for your holiness.
I have failed to meet your standards many times.
But I want to become more like Jesus.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be transformed.
I don't want to sow discord any longer.
Set a guard in my mind and at my lips, Lord.
Change the way I perceive and speak to others.
Help me bear the spiritual fruits
of kindness and gentleness instead.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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